Non Verbal Skills
At some point I’m guessing you’ve heard the term ‘non verbal‘ communication.
Today let’s talk about how sharp are your non verbal skills. Why it’s important and what you can do to enhance them!
There are 5 main things that make up the non-verbal language.
First, is called Kinesics which refers to our body movements. This includes hand gestures, nodding and shaking our head.
For example, when you talk about a topic you like have you noticed you tend to be more animated especially with your hands. And due to this people you’re speaking to tend to pay more attention to what you’re saying.
Similarly when you’re being spoken to if you were to nod and shake your head accordingly, it shows your attentiveness to what’s being said and can make the person subconsciously more favorable towards you. (side note: it’s highly effective when you practice it with a spouse)
Second, is called Proxemics which refers to the proximity you need to maintain while interacting with someone. This is critical when you’re speaking with colleagues or especially someone you don’t know very well. It’s important to gauge the comfortable distance they’d like to maintain while interacting with you.
This is really about being intuitive and in this case ‘more’ can be a good thing. Giving more space lest we encroach on someones unknowingly. The trick here is to notice if the person you’re speaking with seems at ease with your distance if not you get the hint.
Third, is Posture. Now science says that where your thoughts go the body follows. What this means is that your body will show your state of mind. If you’re bored, your body immediately has droopy shoulders.
If you’re angry or agitated maybe you clench your wrists and your body becomes somewhat stiff. To have a good posture you’ll need to be conscious of how your body is showing up while interacting with others. The thing to do is have good tall shoulders, erect back, hands anywhere but folded is a good neutral posture to maintain.
Fourth, is Eye contact. Now, this is a lil tricky, See the thing is we want to maintain a healthy eye contact while interacting with someone however we don’t want to get into a staring competition. So they way to train yourself is probably hold eye contact for about couple of seconds look away and then return casually. What I’ve learnt is it becomes easier to practice eye contact when you don’t stress about it so much, be present to what the person is talking to you about, respond consciously and you should be good.
Healthy eye contact is all about being present with the person you’re interacting with.
And the fifth one, is your volume such as tone, pitch and depth of your voice. I guess you’ll agree with me when I say no one likes being shouted out, so loudness is self explanatory.
Interacting with audible volume, clear tone and voice modulation is important if you’d like to convey your message effectively. In a professional setting these skills maybe most critical.
Okay, so a quick recap to enhancing your non verbal communication 1. Body movements 2. Proximity 3. Posture 4. Eye contact and 5. Volume
Now you can learn to do One practical thing that psychology calls ‘Mirroring’
This implies mimicking the actions of the person you’re interacting with. However, this goes with a HUGE disclaimer. Do this well with reason please. Mirroring is about responding with the same body language as the person you’re interacting with.
For example, if the person is sitting with crossed legs you can safely assume the same position, it builds trust and confidence for the interaction. Using similar tone, depth of voice also helps.
So develop this skill it’ll help you with your non verbal communication. and again I can’t stress enough, do this gently, thoughtfully and well within reason.
The intention is to create trust with the person and not just to mimic them.
That’s my time for the day. If you liked this episode don’t forget to share with your friends and family. I’m here every week to help you take action. Big or small in your life.
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